Pumpkin Spice Martini with Whipped Cream


These days, it seems we all love a good espresso martini. That had been my go-to until I recently visited this martini bar after dinner and ordered a key lime pie martini which tasted like a cross between our mom's key lime pie and the best tropical drink. While classic cocktails are always great, it seems sometimes the best ones are the ones that with each sip make us reminiscent of something else we love!

Enter this pumpkin spice martini!

Naturally that key lime pie martini made me think of, well, other pies! We can also all agree that pumpkin (not only spice, but even more importantly) pie, is autumn in every bite, and brings you right back to the middle of fall. Between the flaky crust, the essential autumn spices, the pumpkin puree, and with all hope a little topping, in my eyes this pie always holds a special place this time of year. Enter this pumpkin spice martini, destined to bring you with each sip back to your Thanksgiving day table, to a pumpkin patch, to your favorite martini bar, or maybe all three.

martini glass with caramel and graham cracker rim

How do you start this martini?

You'll start off by prepping the martini or coupe glasses by rimming them with caramel sauce and graham cracker crumbs. If we're going to call this a pumpkin spice martini, it surely must have all the classic pumpkin pie-esque essentials, which of course includes the crust. In this instance, graham crackers are the perfect option for the flaky, buttery, crust-like flavor we need.

To make the rimmed martini glasses it's as easy as:

  1. Adding one (yes, 1) graham cracker to a bag and using either a rolling pin or your hand to crush it up super finely.
  2. Placing the crushed graham cracker on a shallow plate.
  3. Grabbing some store-bought caramel sauce, or this homemade version, and pouring enough to cover the bottom of a shallow plate.
  4. Carefully dipping the rim of each glass into the caramel, and then immediately into the crushed graham cracker, making sure the whole rim is coated.

Rimming the glasses is an optional first step but it's pretty fast and makes these cocktails taste especially like a pumpkin pie and also makes them look extra festive.

martini glass with caramel graham cracker rim

What are the instructions for the whipped cream topping?

Now it's time to whip some whipped cream. While I truly do love the canned version, in some cases our mom and grandma are so right that the homemade version is truly worth it. Because it really is so easy, with something where it is kind of a main character (ahem, a pie topping) it's really worth the couple extra minutes!

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

  • heavy whipping cream - definitely the best for easily making homemade whipped cream
  • powdered sugar - you can add this to your taste but I find just a little adds the perfect amount of sweetness
  • vanilla - I love to add a dash for extra flavor

Add these to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or to a medium bowl if you're using a hand mixer.

Once everything is in there, it's as easy as whipping it together for 2-3 minutes until the whipped cream is fluffy and soft peaks begin to form. Because we'll be topping our martini with this, we want it to be slightly less stiff than we would for other uses such as frosting a cake. We almost want to be able to gently pour it from the bowl with a spatula so it can easily top the drink and spread to cover the top.

pumpkin spice martini with whipped cream

What are the ingrdients for the martini?

Once the glasses are rimmed, and the whipped cream is whipped, it's as easy as grabbing your favorite cocktail shaker and the remaining ingredients. Fill the cocktail shaker all the way up with ice to ensure it will make the other ingredients cold, then all you'll need is:

  1. pumpkin puree - I tested this recipe many times to find the perfect ratio of pumpkin puree to the baileys and vodka. You really don't need much and the rest of the can is great for any other pumpkin recipes you have on your list for this fall!
  2. baileys - adds the perfect amount of creaminess to this cocktail while also helping to blend the pumpkin puree and vodka
  3. vodka - you can use vanilla or plain depending on what you have on hand or how sweet you like your drinks
  4. pumpkin pie spice - just a little helps to make this drink taste even more like a pumpkin pie!

When everything is in your shaker, shake for at least 20 seconds, then strain it immediately into the prepared glasses. At a first strain, it can seem deceiving about the amount of liquid, but you are really just experiencing what I like to call the ice blockade. Give it another couple aggressive shakes and your martini glasses will be full before you know it!

Top with the homemade whipped cream, using the back of a spoon to smooth it on carefully as not to spill any of the martini. Dust with extra pumpkin pie spice if desired.

pumpkin martinis topped with whipped cream

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to make the caramel and/or whipped cream?

Store-bought caramel would work great for rimming the glasses, and the whipped cream topping is optional and would also be great with some canned whipped cream!

What if I don't have pumpkin pie spice?

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, if you have cinnamon that would be a great replacement and if you also have either ginger, nutmeg, cloves, or allspice a very small dash of any combination of those would also be delicious!

Can I make a big batch of these ahead of time?

These are best served right away so that they're chilled and evenly shaken. If you want to make a big batch ahead of time make sure to thoroughly stir before serving to ensure the pumpkin puree and pie spice are evenly incorporated.

pumpkin spice martini with whipped cream and graham cracker caramel rim

This pumpkin spice martini is ready in 15 minutes, and tastes just like a pumpkin pie and the best flavors of autumn. Enjoy each fall-inspired homemade cocktail sip!

Pumpkin Spice Martini with Whipped Cream

All the flavors of the classic pumpkin pie shaken up into a pumpkin spice martini rimmed with sweet graham cracker crumbs and topped with fresh whipped cream.



Servings: 2

  • 1 graham cracker, finely crushed
  • 1/8 cup caramel (or enough to cover the bottom of a small shallow plate)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 ounces baileys
  • 4 ounces vodka, vanilla or plain
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus additional for topping


1. Add crushed graham cracker to a shallow plate. Add either store-bought or homemade caramel to another shallow plate, ensuring it is relatively thin. Dip the rim of a martini or coupe glass first into the caramel and then into the crushed graham cracker until the rim is evenly coated. Set glasses aside and discard remaining caramel and graham crackers.

2. Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or to a medium bowl if using a hand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form but whipped cream is slightly less whipped than usual.

3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add pumpkin puree, baileys, vodka, and pumpkin pie spice. Shake well for at least 20 seconds, and immediately strain into prepared glasses.

4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

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